Milan, a city of rich musical heritage

OBOISTS Wendy Carpenter, from Drayton, and Mel Espin from east Hampshire, are excited because they are going to perform in Milan.

Oboists Mel Espin and Wendy Carpenter will play in Milan
Oboists Mel Espin and Wendy Carpenter will play in Milan

Retired teacher Wendy plays oboe in Portsmouth Philharmonia and the Chichester Orchestra.

Mel is a postwoman at Arlesford and also plays oboe in the Chichester Orchestra.

Both have played the instrument since their teens.

Together with bass player Mary Toms from Swaythling and other Hampshire musicians from the Charity Symphony Orchestra, Wendy and Mel are going to play with Italy’s renowned Orchestra Allegro Moderato.

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    Based in Milan, the Orchestra Allegro Moderato is no ordinary orchestra because several of its players are adults or youngsters with special needs.

    All of the Italian musicians are thrilled that players from the UK will be joining them for their grand concert in June.

    There is to be a rehearsal with the Orchestra Allegro Moderato on the afternoon of Friday, June 2 and another practice the following afternoon, Saturday, June 3.

    The actual concert will be at 8pm on the Saturday evening in the cloisters of the Chiesa Santa Marie alla Fontana (Church of St Mary of the Fountain) which was built in 1508.

    Several of the British players intend staying on in Milan for a few days to enjoy the delights of the city with its rich musical heritage.

    Many great composers like Verdi, Puccini and Rossini are linked to this artistic and cultured city with its famous opera house, La Scala.

    There are tourist attractions too.

    The elegant shopping mall, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, is worth a visit even if it’s just to gape at the astronomical prices of the famous-label fashion accessories.

    Then there’s also Leonardo Da Vinci’s world famous painting of The Last Supper in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie.

    The Charity Symphony Orchestra is a leading fundraising orchestra in the south of England and has been going for 10 years.

    Craig Lawton, its chairman tells me that he still needs a few more string players, particularly viola players, for the Milan event.

    Air fares to and from Milan are reasonable from Gatwick and there are low budget hotels near the concert venue.

    If you play or know anyone who is up for the adventure of playing in Milan please contact Craig Lawton by e-mail [email protected] or telephone Harriet Carey on 07828 531780.